This is a continuation of the love story begun in the author’s previous novel, The Tame Khaki, in which the twenty-year-old Jack Whitelaw set off from his home in Dorset to fight the Boers in the southern tip of Africa. Wounded, he’s taken to a Ladysmith hospital, where falls in love with a beautiful young nurse, Rachel du Toit, a boerenooi, whose father and brothers are all fighting in a Boer commando.
The love affair flourishes during the siege`– until Rachel is forced to flee Ladysmith and ends up in a British concentration camp. It’s now March 1902 and the war is virtually over. Shortly before Jack sailed for home, Rachel forgave him for his part in Milner’s ‘scorched earth policy’ and he returns to Pietermaritzburg determined to win her hand in marriage.
His blissful life with his lovely wife and two little children on a farm in the Natal Midlands begins to transform when Britain declares war against Germany and his deep sense of loyalty to his excolleagues and The Old Country kicks in. Rachel is at first fiercely opposed to him again donning a British uniform but eventually relents, knowing Jack will continue to feel powerful pangs of guilt if he doesn’t. You’ll become deeply engrossed – at times saddened – by what occurs next.